For most people, the name Qin Fan did not ring a bell.
But Huang Wenyuan, born in the superior clan of the Guanshan Pasture, could not fail to recognize that it was the name of the prestigious second prince of the empire.
The second prince was killed by the psycho right before him.
And technically, the second prince was better off than Huang Wenyuan both in terms of social status and personal cultivation. But since the psycho dared murder the second prince, he certainly could…
At that thought, Huang Wenyuan was instantly gripped by panic.
Li Mu’s last remark was more bone-chilling to him than any other threat.
The more domineering and careless about others’ lives a man was, the more fragile he would be in the face of a real life-and-death situation.
Cold sweat suddenly streamed down Huang Wenyuan’s forehead. The gloating jeer on his face also froze. He gazed at Li Mu’s aloof face and stammered, “You… don’t rush. The death of the second prince could be traced to the civil strife. The emperor hasn’t finished his closed-door training so no one has taken on you yet. But if you kill me, my grandfather who adores me most will certainly come to you to avenge me…”
Liu Chong, who was watching the dispute nearby, also got very tense.
Huang Shengyi, Deputy Head of the pasture, had asked him to go to Taibai County and assist Huang Wenyuan. If Huang Wenyuan was killed there, he would probably be liable for neglecting his duties no matter how invincible Li Mu was. When that happened, he had no way to answer to Deputy Head Huang.
For that reason, he dared not provoke Li Mu anymore.
“Fu*k! This little county magistrate is really a lunatic!”
“Your Honor Li, our conflict has not reached an irreconcilable point, so please don’t do anything on a whim.” Liu Chong wiped the beads of cold sweat on his brows and continued, “Could you let go of Young Master Huang first? Let’s deal with this in a civilized manner. We have come here under the order of the imperial court, which asked Young Master Huang to replace you as the county magistrate. It’s not like we are here to rob you of your position…”
Li Mu turned to Liu Chong and snapped, “You still haven’t got it. Are we really arguing about the position of county magistrate?”
Liu Chong was taken aback at that remark. His look immediately turned awkward.
“Is Li Mu truly seeking justice for the sixteen humble victims other than seizing upon the incident to exaggerate matters?”
Liu Chong’s throat stirred and he said, “I know what you mean, Your Honor. But Young Master Huang should have nothing to do with it, for there is no evidence supporting that it is Young Master Huang who killed them. I…”
“Evidence?” Li Mu sneered. “Senior, you perhaps are already a dotard. Am I asking for evidence? Don’t you have the B-number about whether it is this scumbag who killed all of them?”
“What’s the B-number?”
The immortal-like Liu Chong had no idea of that. But he knew it could not be complimentary.
He said, “Your Honor Li, don’t act recklessly. Further investigation of this case is called for. If the murder is truly Young Master Huang…”
Li Mu, however, interrupted him again. He bellowed, “What do you mean by ‘if’?” The killing intent and smell of blood on this old white-hair are so obvious. He must have committed murder during the past four hours. What’s the point of quibbling groundlessly? Don’t you find it ridiculous to discuss this with me?”
Liu Chong gave a long sigh. He also harbored some complaints about Huang Wenyuan.
He should have waited for Li Mu to come out of the closed-door training and assassinate him when he was off his guard. But why did he have to kill those insignificant untouchables? Now, he had alerted the enemy, allowing Li Mu to get prepared… Yet, it was clearly not the time to blame Huang Wenyuan for his hopeless stupidity.
“Maybe it’s just a misunderstanding.” Liu Chong had not stooped so low for years. He said cautiously, “After hearing Your Honor Li’s words, I also noticed the funny connection. But I bet the whole thing is on the scarred guard. He must have held grudges about the previous strife and launched the strike in private. Young Master Huang has been left in the dark. He doesn’t know anything about this…”
Huang Wenyuan’s eyes lit at that explanation. He hastily confirmed, “Yes, yes, yes. Your Honor Li, I don’t know anything about this case. I was fooled, too. Let’s talk this through. This guard is called Zhanfei. He used to be a burglar who killed tons of people. After I persuaded him to work for me, I asked him to follow me at all hours and make a pledge to mend his ways. But who knows, he still can’t kick his old habits and did such an unforgivable crime. I won’t let him off the hook…”
Li Mu spat right at his face and gave a disparaging smile. “You two experts in the Celestial Being Realm are talking barefaced nonsense just for a chance to live. Well, even I feel ashamed for you guys! This is what a martial arts practitioner in the Guanshan Pasture looks like? You two already disgraced the Holy Clans in our empire to the utmost!”
Liu Chong’s white brows twitched. Flames of fury were rising inside him.
Huang Wenyuan was both anxious and exasperated.
He had just been slagged off, but he did not get the nerve to snap back.
“At first, I had no intention to reason with you two. Yet, as you turn out to be so spineless, then…” Li Mu flung his hand and pointed the unconscious old guard with white hair and a scar before saying, “Someone, come and wake him up!”
Feng Yuanxing clenched his teeth, fetched a barrel of icy water himself, and poured all the water onto the old guard with white hair and a scar.
He was determined to cast his caution in wind and support Li Mu to the end.
“Ah…” The old guard slowly came to himself and let out a wail of pain. When his eyes fell on Li Mu, he instantly opened his mouth to shout abuse.
With a sneer, Li Mu whispered, “You’d better think it over before you say anything.”
Being scanned by Li Mu’s eyes which were as cold as a broadsword blade, the old guard with white hair and a scar gave an inward shudder. He could no longer utter a word because he was paralyzed by a spasm of horror for no reason.
Li Mu directly stamped on Huang Wenyuan’s leg, causing the latter to howl like a pig to be slaughtered. Li Mu demanded, “Stop screaming… You, say what you said again.”
How Huang Wenyuan wished to chop Li Mu in a million pieces! But given his powerful strength, he had to yield to the circumstances.
Lowering his chin and looking sinister, Huang Wenyuan repeated what he had just said. After that, he turned to the guard called Zhanfei and said, “You shouldn’t blame me. You have done such a horrible thing simply for venting your anger. Now you killed those innocent people, death will serve you right. If you still retain a bit of your conscience, you should take your own life as a way to amend your sin.”
The arms and legs of the guard with white hair and a scar had been badly mutilated. But ordinary guards could not cut the refined bones of a Natural Expert no matter how hard they tried. Thus, though the injuries he had looked quite grave, he might recover within half a day if he regained his natural qi and cultivation.
He looked at Huang Wenyuan with a mix of emotions and gritted his teeth.
Of course, he understood what Huang Wenyuan meant—his master was asking him to take the blame and be the scapegoat for the crime.
That basically meant he agreed to die.
Despite his will, he had no alternative.
He was the private servant of the Huang family. He was their private soldier as well as the man who could die for them at any time. He had long since accepted the fact that his life belonged to the Huang family.
It was just that he did not expect he would be executing the last duty of a loyal servant simply for a trivial like killing sixteen untouchables. He would not die in an honorable battle but in the justice procedure for sixteen humble victims. That was really… unworthy to die for.
However, if he did disobey the order of a Huang family member, the revenge of the Huang family would make him feel more miserable than death, even if Li Mu did not kill him right now.
“Right. Master is right. When I saw Master be humiliated, I was infuriated and so acted on my own and killed those untouchables. Master is not involved in the murder at all,” the guard with white hair and a scar hissed through his tightly clenched teeth.
He had lived a fierce life and killed innumerable people. Years ago, he was truly a burglar engaged in smuggling activities and assassination. Later, he was taken in by the Huang family and led an awesome life. He ate all the fine meals, drank all the best wines, enjoyed all kinds of entertainment. Indeed, he had no regrets.
Upon hearing the guard taking all the responsibility, Huang Wenyuan heaved with a sigh of relief.
So did Liu Chong.
Li Mu nodded, “Good. You do have some balls. Then, I will send you on the road to hell.”
With those words, he took a steel broadsword from a guard beside him and injected his natural qi in the blade. Then, with a casual hack, the head of the guard called Zhanfei was chopped off, and then placed before the bodies of the sixteen folks and soldiers.
Huang Wenyuan gingerly held back his viciousness as he said, “Your Honor Li, the truth is exposed. Now you can let me go, can’t you?”
Li Mu shot him a surprised look and said, “Huh? When did I say I’ll let you go?”
Huang Wenyuan was petrified to hear that.
Overwhelmed by astonishment and indignation, Liu Chong questioned, “Your Honor Li, what are you saying? Are you going to go back on your own words?”
Li Mu stared at him as if staring a fool. He remarked, “Going back on my own words? Senior, I beg you to think about it carefully. Did I ever say that I will only kill the white-hair if he confesses?”
“Er…” Liu Chong recalled their previous conversation. “You did say it…”
“Oh, did I? Well, that doesn’t matter. I’ve changed my mind.” Li Mu said.
Liu Chong: “…”
“Then, there is no fu*king thing left to discuss!”
“What do you want?” blurted Huang Wenyuan, who was almost driven mad.
He felt he was about to be tormented to death by Li Mu.
Li Mu said nonchalantly, “What do I want? I certainly want to send you all to the road leading to hell. What a stupid question! How can you feel for the need to ask that? Are you an idiot?”
“You… you’re nuts! I am really the grandson of the Deputy Head of the pasture of the Guanshan Pasture…” Huang Wenyuan freaked out. He could not understand how Li Mu’s brain worked.
Li Mu said, “I’m not nuts. If I did let you go, I would be. You can ask yourselves. When you go back, will you plan to seek revenge against me or not? So, I’d rather settle this right now than allowing you to go back and plot against me. The desperate retaliation of mean Celestial Beings who have no sense of shame does sound menacing after all… Anyway, today I’ve already offended you like big time.”
Huang Wenyuan cried, “No, no, no. Listen…”
Li Mu cut him off. “Save it. It’s too late. Stop talking rubbish… You can only blame yourself for this. Why didn’t you get it clear at the beginning? If you did, I would not offend you so seriously. Perhaps we would be friends instead.”
Huang Wenyuan: “???”
He was really on the point of going crazy.
Liu Chong also reckoned he might have encountered a man who needed to examine his brain.
He could not reason with or threaten him, let alone greasing his palm.
“Your Honor Li, for what it’s worth, you’d better figure out what you’re doing. Even if Young Master Huang is at fault, his fault is not supposed to bring him a death penalty. If you kill him, you will make an enemy out of the whole Guanshan Pasture. You…”
“You still don’t get it,” Li Mu began, “You two don’t represent the Guanshan Pasture, nor does a Deputy Head of the pasture. Even if I go against the whole Guanshan Pasture, I don’t care a damn.” Li Mu gave a smile and went on, “Because, in this Taibai County, I am invincible.”
With that, his broadsword plummeted and cut off Huang Wenyuan’s head.